Published on March 23, 2018
With the introduction of novel therapies, does the transplant treatment approach still have value for multiple myeloma patients? Have transplants been replaced? Our panel of myeloma experts, including Dr. Carol Ann Huff, Dr. Sagar Lonial and Dr. Suzanne Lentzsch, discuss whether transplants still result in the best patient outcomes with the availability of other novel agents. Dr. Lonial also explains what the goal of treatment is and what data health care teams look at to assess its’ efficacy. Watch now to find out what the latest research shows on transplants for myeloma patients.
Produced by Patient Power. We thank you to thank AbbVie, Inc., Celgene and Takeda Oncology for their support.
Transcript | Does the Transplant Treatment Approach Still Have Value for Myeloma Patients?
Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.
So one of the other things that I’d like to ask about is are there any updates on the topic of transplant?
And maybe, Dr. Huff, do you want to share anything that you’ve seen at this meeting about transplant in general?
Well, I think as we saw the data from the IFM trial that continued to show survival benefits for patients getting transplants, and I think that the question still comes out, do you need transplant? I think the vast majority of people, the data supports that transplant is better than no transplant. I think there’s still some question, probably because long-term follow-up is not there yet, that at four years we’re not seeing survival differences. But I suspect, like with all of the prior trials, the longer we follow these patients, we’re going to continue to see survival benefits. I believe transplant still has a role in the treatment of our patients and really should still be there early on in the course of their disease.
And it’s probably too early to tell, with these upcoming therapies that I think we’ll talk about a little bit later, if that will eventually be replaced or not, but for now, this is…
Right, right. I would agree. I think one of the challenges is—it’s very interesting—you can have the same data presented, and in Europe they interpret it one way, and in the U.S. it’s interpreted in a completely different way. I think that some of it is not really necessarily really being fair to the analysis that is presented. What Dr. Mauro presented in his analysis was that if you achieve a really deep response, including MRD negative, it didn’t matter if you were on the transplant or the non-transplant arm. The problem is that that analysis occurred 12 to 18 months after diagnosis. You don’t have that data when you’re making a decision early on.
And, in fact, the point of early MRD assessment, we have no idea what that means. For me, the real question is not just MRD at 12 months or MRD at 18 months; it’s sustained MRD for a prolonged period of time. That’s really what’s the important endpoint. And I think to only look at that single time point and say it doesn’t matter is missing 90 percent of the data.
I completely agree. It is kind of very difficult when we have newly diagnosed myeloma patients to say who will really benefit from a transplant or not. The data altogether show that transplant is so far the best standard of care, and that’s what I do in discussions with patients. I say, “I recommend so far transplant.”